If your pregnancy was a marathon, you wouldn’t quite be in the home stretch now — but at least you’re starting to feel like you’re hitting your stride. Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters (each approximately three months long). And now that you’re at week 11, you’re almost at the end of your first trimester. This is big news for more than one reason: for one thing, you’re roughly a third of the way through your pregnancy; but for another, you can also hope that your second trimester will be an easier ride.
Many women refer to the second trimester as the ‘honeymoon’ phase of pregnancy — hopefully you’ll find that the coming weeks are a little easier to cope with than the preceding few months. However difficult it’s been to get to this point, in your second trimester your hormones should start to settle down, your energy may start to return, and you may even adopt the pregnant glow that you’ve heard so much about!
Baby-wise, it’s still a big week for growth and development. In another exciting pregnancy milestone, by this stage, your doctor can use a special ‘doppler’ stethoscope to hear the rapid whooshing sounds of the fetal heart! And courtesy of your pregnancy hormones, you may be noticing that your hair, fingernails, and toenails are growing more quickly than normal — but for the same reason, you may be affected by oily skin and acne too.
Read on as Flo walks you through everything week 11 holds in store!:
Your baby has already reached 2 in (5 cm) in size. Now, their head is half the length of the body, but in the coming weeks, their body will grow enough to make up for it. Those hands and feet have individual fingers and toes. Meanwhile, fingernail and toenail beds begin to develop this week; in the next few weeks, the nails themselves will start to grow The fetus skin is so thin and translucent that through it you can see an extensive network of vessels. Placental vessels are expanding to provide the fetus with necessary nutrients and oxygen.
Here’s what else is going on with your baby:
How big is your baby at 11 weeks pregnant?
At this stage, your baby is around from head to bottom — about the size of a fig. And maybe for the first time, the fetus is starting to look human too!
Pregnancy week 11 fetal development
Your baby is currently undergoing a phase of rapid growth. The placenta is already at an advanced stage of development, and by week 12 it will be complete. The bones of the face are now fully formed, and even the earbuds on the side of the head are developing. Your baby’s eyelids are still closed and won’t open for another few months.
At this stage of development, there’s a disproportion between the head and the rest of the body — in fact, the head makes one-third of its length! But the body is growing fast. Oh, and the fingers and toes are separating!
Week 11 of pregnancy can still be a challenging time for many women — so you’re not out of the woods yet! Fatigue, nausea, and dizziness can all be a factor at this stage, so keep this mind as you go about your day and don’t be shy to call upon friends, family, and your partner if you need any support.
11 weeks pregnant belly
Up until now, you may have enjoyed keeping your little secret while you’ve had little or no bump to show for the new member of your family growing inside. But now, you’ve probably noticed that you’re starting to thicken around your belly. If you’ve had any previous pregnancies, you’ll start to bulge earlier than if this is your first time. Either way, just bear in mind that your bump is on its way!
As your belly starts to expand, it will stretch the muscles and ligaments and this may cause pain in the area. Seek advice from your healthcare professional if this becomes troublesome.
11 weeks pregnant symptoms
By week 11, you’ll have 50% more blood pumping around your body. This extra fluid in your circulatory system feeds your womb.
By week 12, your placenta will take over from the yolk sac that currently nourishes your baby — at that time, the placenta will begin to supply the fetus with nourishment, remove waste material, and perform other vital functions.
Fatigue is a very common symptom as this stage. You may feel so tired that you don’t want to do much more than cozy up with Netflix! Resist this temptation: you’ll feel much better if you incorporate some gentle exercise like walking or swimming into your day.
In most countries, the first scan of a pregnant woman takes place between weeks 8 and 14. It’s usually followed by another scan at 18-21 weeks.
You should also be aware that screening tests for a number of serious developmental disorders (including Down’s syndrome) are available to you at this stage.
Your healthcare provider has probably already mentioned this to you and put things into motion, but if not feel free to flag it up and ask what arrangements need to be made.
Your pregnancy may be a challenging time for you, but do your best to follow a healthy lifestyle. This will provide the best support for you and your baby until full term. Your diet should contain a wide variety of foods from all the recommended food groups, including a mixture of fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible. You should also aim to drink between eight and 10 8-ounce glasses of water (from all sources) a day. But be sure to talk to your practitioner about what works for you and your situation.
Try not to fixate on the old idea of ‘eating for two’ — in reality you only need around 300 extra calories per day to provide for your baby. And don’t worry too much if nausea or vomiting in early pregnancy mean that you don’t have much of an appetite; as long as you’ve been careful about your diet in the preceding weeks, your baby will still get what he or she needs.
Sex at week 11 of pregnancy
Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, your sex life can continue as normal throughout pregnancy.
Here’s your week 11 pregnancy checklist:
- If you haven’t done so already, get yourself to the dentist! You should make sure that you visit your dentist at least once during the nine months of your pregnancy — you’re more likely to pick up on issues with your oral health and be able to address them effectively. Brush and floss daily and consider adding a calcium vitamin to your routine — but remember that bleeding gums are fairly common in pregnancy.
- Now’s also a good time to rein in your caffeine consumption. High levels of caffeine during pregnancy can cause low birth weight in your baby and even miscarriage. Try to restrict yourself to around 200 milligrams (mg) per day. This is the amount of caffeine in 2 cups of instant coffee, but remember that tea, cola, chocolate, and other foods and drinks also contain caffeine.
- Several screening tests for serious developmental conditions are available to you now. The tests for Down’s, Edward’s, and Patau’s syndromes all involve a blood test and an ultrasound scan. They can be conducted at the same time as your dating scan.